Asthma: What Happens in the Bronchioles

I created my STEAM project to show the constriction of bronchioles during an asthma attack. It was hard to portray with the materials on hand and capturing it on video but hopefully the idea is there!

The bronchioles end in the alveoli, the sacs where gas exchange takes place- it’s here that carbon dioxide from the blood diffuses into the alveoli to be exhaled, while oxygen that is inhaled crosses into the blood to be distributed through the body. Obviously with such an essential process taking place here, it’s important that every passageway leading here is clear and functioning. My project shows what happens with asthma when the bronchioles become constricted and fluid filled which hampers not only basic breathing but the specific and very important gas exchange too.

The purple straw in my video is a healthy bronchiole: smooth on the outside, open, wide, and free of obstruction. The plastic white straw represents a damaged bronchiole due to asthma: it’s constricted, misshapen, narrower, and also is lined with “mucus”. The mucus is shown by honey and the smoothie stayed the same (consistency wise) except for the fact that I drank some between takes 🙂 the video was too big to upload so it should be accessible by

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Ectopic pregnancy vs normal pregnancy

I created a model of fetal development through wax and dye on an egg. The top of the egg cycles through the beginning stages of pregnancy from a fertilized egg through a 2 and 4 cell stage to a 16-cell stage. The second cycle on the egg shows the development of the blastocyst and the final cycle shows the fetus from week 4 to week 20. This represents a normal pregnancy. I also separated these stages in order to compare a normal pregnancy to an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy typically lasts until around week 6 to 8 until it could become fatal to a mother.  This would be at the beginning of the second cycle shown on the egg. I made this distinction between the different levels (from top to bottom on the egg) to show that an ectopic pregnancy would not make it to the third level.

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